Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 19, 2009 11:30pm-12:30am EDT

11:30 pm
>>ose: well court-martial to the broadct. tonight, two conversations, two authors, two subjects. one isow to recognize failure, twis the evoluon of god. fit, jim collins one of america's best-seing authors on biness andleadership and recognizing faire. >> you wld think-- at least would ha thought-- that t y great entprises fall is they back lazy. they just become sort ofat a corps lent and they nevereally wa to do anythin new or innovative anymo. and sure enough, if you do become zy and complacent an don't do anything new anymore you will fall. that doesn't rlly show how the mity fall. it's undciplined pursuit of more. it's overreacng. it's going t far. it's doing too much. it's uiscipline big thecht. >> re: second, rert wright,
11:31 pm
his w book authors a new rspective on god. >> when ople look at another group of people and thinkhey cabenefit from peaceful coextence, collaboration cooperation or just coexistence they will usually find a basis for tolerance in their religion. >> rose: a we end with an appreciation for don hitt, the under of "60 minutes". he die age 86. ji collins robert wright, and apprection of don hewitt. next.
11:32 pm
ptioning sponsored by rose communications from our stuos in new york ty, this is charlie rose. >> rose: jim collinss here, h is, you know, one ofat sa'am best-selling autho subjects of businessnd leadership his books "good to great" and "builto last" he sold more than sen million cies combined "fortune" magazine h called him the j.k. rowlin of management literatur his latest isalled "howhe mighty fal" i am pleased tha jim clins ck at this table. welcome. i'm very pleased to be here. >> re: thank you, god to he you here. how dithis come abo? "how the mighty fall and why some comnies never given and why some compans-- extendi beyond yr tut-- look like
11:33 pm
they're falling but before it'so turn around. start with the title and what thenquire was that led to this. >>ell, like everying that we do, 's all driven by curiosy. the interesting ing ishat this study began... this little inquiry ben in 25 long before the mighty started falling li dominos. d i've always be interested how grt enterprise cans self-destruct but it's been thback of my min. and then i had twoexperiences in my life thatame together to raise a questn they're n in sequence b they came together and the first te it startedto grab me as a question was when francis hase bin aed know go the west point. and francis hasslebein who is one of america great leader
11:34 pm
and she id "wou you come to we point and teh a case scussion." i said "i'd be happy to." and i picturead debts. i said "wonderful frces." and who will behe students? >> she said 36 people. 12 u.s. army generals, 12 "fortune" 500 c.e.o. types and 12 leaders from t social ctors all at tables of tw, two, two, ch. >> rose: i said. okay, what's the qstion, what's the case you'dlike me to lead the discussion on? she said "you'll like it, the united states of ameca." so here's this case discussi with these studes and i'm thinki to myself what can i think this group abou america and had a wonderful meor named bill lazier. and he alys impressed upon me u don't have to have the answers. what you have to have ishe quesons. >> rose: my mantra.
11:35 pm
>> exactly. and if you have th questions, good answersill come. and i thoughtnd ieo west point s question. th questionwas: where america? is ameri at an infltion point? and if so, which way? beuse greatnation-- athens, 500 b.c.e., rome, egyptian old kingdom, egyptian new kingdom, noansof crete have fallen. so i put to the groupis america renewing itsreatness or is e united stas of america dangerously on t cusp of fallg from great to good? the queson was rhetorical but the room exploded into ts really remarkable debate. there's no correlation by sector there was a lot of discussion and greapassion for the question. but e real critica moment camet areak. chief executivof a very successful cpany comes up to me and h sai'm very interestedn the question that you asked this morningbut i've been tnking about my company all morning
11:36 pm
we've had this amazing r of ccess and that rries me. it sres me. i'm fritened by our success. and what iant to know is when you' on top of the world, when you're at the height ofour succs how would you know if you might be dangerous on the cusp o faling? >> rose: because itakes you immune to insht? >> it could behat all of your success covers up t fact that you ar already in deine. and that by the time you wakep toee it, it might be too late. that was his fear. and is came hand in hand wit a very persol expience. and i was reflting back on the way home from this experience that wife and i had been to joanne we're comin up onur 29th year of marriage which consider to be a good srt.
11:37 pm
d in 2002 we went rning outside of aspen and we ran to e top of the... shouldn' say .t running up towards the thg called the ectric pat at about 11,000 feet altitude i started waing and i came out of the tree line and joanne kept running. i could see her heading u to the top of theass which was almost 14,000 feet in thi bright redweatshirt. that was august. in october we receiv e dinosis that led to two mastectomies. and what hit me was theimage of being the extordinary picture of health, the red sweshirt pounding up the ails to t top of the path looking as beautil and as strg as ever. but if you r the timeline, she was already sick >> rose: inside her, cancer s gring. >> insid her cance was growing. anthese two expernces, the west point experience and the reflections that came together and i thought, you know, there's something there. we oht to go ck and study
11:38 pm
great enterises that fell, great eerprises that self-destructed d ask the queson "are the seeds of their decline d are the maers of their decline in place long before you ever see it? are you stro on the outside but alrea sick on the inse? or t use that wonderfu question frothe person at west point, how would you know? >> rose: all right, sta ones hubris. >> y. soe foundhese five stas. and i'll just quickly menon wh they are and then wean circle back to them. stage one hubris born of success. stage two is undisciplined puuit of mor stage three is denial of risk and pel. stage four is asping for salvation. and sta five, t stage you never nt to go to,s a pip lags to relevant or death. now, two quick pnts onhis. it does turn out that you look from the oside like you're
11:39 pm
still cliing all the way to the end of stagehree. you don't visibly fall until st' e through three o five stage before you know. you lookreat. certainly onhe outside yo ok great. then stage four it really sws. it's clear to evybody. if second is you can go to stage four and come back. >> ros i want people to know out there what's interesting about these kis of conversations whici try do i my head and i think back to your wife, what u try to s is that let's assume thiserhaps can't extend beyd a corrate entity to li in general. >> exactly. i'll just share with you a ttle two ides on that. thfirst is that our work has always been about the questions. anit just so happens that we use business. one of the things that was intesting is i got aall from a professoof classics who sd that he'seaching how the mighty fall with macbeth.
11:40 pm
and he said "this is the tragedy " it happens to show up in busiss but it's the arc of stragy. and the secondthing that was intesting, i shared thi with chief exetives before it was published and thec.e.o. came up to me and he saiddo you min if i share it with." and i thought he w going to say "ts framework with my management team. but the words out of his mouth were "with my chdren." i want children to deunderstand hubrisorn of success,enial of risk and peril, t mighty c fall. and they've been ivileged. >> ros hubris means tt... it does mean some sense of don't just thinkou're so damn good. it may very welle that a series of factors and don't think that having done it once means u can do it rever. >> a to never believe that you actually understand all e reasons r your success. always be questning, questioning,uestioning for the reass. there's a wonderfu moment that
11:41 pm
taught this to me wre i learned aboutn anxperience with sam walton, guably one of the3h cenry. built wh became the largest company in the world. a group brazilian busins people bougha discount retail chain in latin america d they wanted to learnabout how to run a better retailing chain. anso they asked a number of ople if they ca visit in the uned states and sam walton actuly invites them u so they show up inentonville, arkansas, d sam walton drives upn his pickup truck and there's a dog andog hairer where andthese brazilians are drivg around with sam walton who is in his typic lo key sam nd of way, eve though he's incredibly inten. what's strikin is he was the most successful retailer in america anfor the first tw days, all he d was ask them questions. all he did was toay "he me understand, how es brazil...
11:42 pm
how does thiwork? can we understand thisetter? " and finally they alized he' invited themo learn from them. now,ou think of e os that i've got thenswers, inow why i've been succesul and here is the most succeful turningit ound and saying "what a wonderful opportunitto learn fr these people." and wh you go from being a knowing person to being a learning person, you're staving off the hubris >> rose: i nowhat i know, i wa to know what you know. >> that's ectly right. and further, in someone like sas case, i tnk they aays e everything they've do as a work in prress. i may have done t 5th sphony bui need toigure out how to do the 6 and the 7th. everything is just atart. >> rose: so then this idea of being able to undisciple pursuit. >> yeah. so now what's verynteresting. so you have the hubris bor of success d it leads to stage
11:43 pm
two. you would think-- ateast i woulhave thoht-- that t way great enterprises fallis theyecome zy. they just become so of fatp u lr really want to do anything ne or innovative ymore. and sure enough, ofourse, if you do bece lazy and compcent and don't do anything new anymore youill fall. that doesn't really show how the mightyall. it's undisciplin pursuit of more. it overreaching. it's going too far. it's doing toouch. it's undiscipled big the. so, for ample, you look at a company like rubbermaid which was number one for two years i a row. at theery moment it was in stage two, they werintroducing a new pruct every single day, 365 days a year. this i not come play sent behavior. d yet five years later, the d not exi as independent company. they were auired. what we find is that the hubris leads t an obsession with
11:44 pm
growth often, an undisplined pursuit of big acquisions. can be an undisciplin rsuit of more fame, more success, more short-term value whatever canead you to make a series of disciplined moves. at the se time thequestion is how might g things haen? so if you tak the case of texas instruments movingo digital sial processing chi, at the time they started that was a littlehing. d they had all their big bunesses over here, semiconductor chips,other things, and th did that little speak and spell. and it was a lile tiny fly wheel but it showed promise. just like microprocessors. intel dn't decide "we're goi to microprocessors" in974. the logic functions were put on a single chip, it was a little ep. but it's that little fly wheel gain momentum and it turns out wait a minute, we caput the logic funcons on there, we can make a sickle d.s..chip and people can usehem in communications and suddenly u've gone from one turn to
11:45 pm
five turn to ten tus and this ttle thing... not your big thing you' paying aention to mery chips, you pay attention to that an renew it as if your life depends on it, becauseitfut starts to grow ove here and then yourove its success empirically, then yo can make a bet onomething that's proven. whercompanies get in ouble is they andon the big thing they already have and they make a bi uncalibrated bet on something that they think is gointo be the big thing. one of the great stories of decline is ames department stores. they invented e mel that wal-mart won with. one of t b differences beeen those two companies, ames was in the northet, wal-martas four years bind, they were in the stheast. both of them staed to build momentum with that andall of a dden ames inexpckbly decided that they re going to lnch a g acquisitio to move into a whole dierent model of retailing. and one of the big differences, sams jt kept mching out
11:46 pm
across theountry in concentric circles. ames wenon a big uncalibrad leap,ig uncalibrated betand that w the start of the decline and eventually wal-mart came in and they stopped. >> re: you areetting to a later point in terms what are you... grassg for saation. frequely those kinds of moves also are grasping foralvation. yes. >> rose: you realize you're in deep. >> yup. >> rose: so therere youeach for thin. what we have to do is change our business model,what we have to do is chan our strategy. we're in the wro business. >> revolutis rarely work. >>ose: success is aroun the corner if we jus do something else ratr than what we do we'll be ablto keep the thundering herdst the gate. >> yeah. and by t time you g to stage four,hat'sxactly what ppens. we had to briefly hit stage three because it takes us bright into the.... >> rose: nial of risk and peril. >> denial of risk anderil. so you've got thmazing success. and the interesng thing about stage two isverybody,
11:47 pm
including you, can fl that you are rely great. >>ose: right. >> but you enter stage three and warning signs art to mount there's inteal eviden, may inventorturns are coming down orst thrisk profile of certain businessesr there's mounting evidence that sething that you reallyelieve in may not work after all. and ther starts to be what i would call a cultural denial. inead of a high questions to statements rio on the part o thchief executive, yo have a high statents to questions ratio. and you discount negative data. you amplify positive data. you lose thatproductive paraia. you know, we had to predict 11 of thelast three recessio. that's a go approach. and the re issues not that they're mounting but that you deny them. that you discount them. thenou combine that with hidden ris and there's a wonderfu concept called the war line. it was advanced byw.l. gore, bill gore, ande basally said
11:48 pm
all compani must take risks, all peop must take risks,ll nations must take risks. the questi is are they ove thwater line or below the ter line? you take a risk that's abo the water line where if itoes againsyou and blows a hole on the side of the hull, it's above the water line, you'll patch it will be painfulut youl be able to sail on. but you take a risk below the ter line where if that...it explodes aole below thatater line, y'll go down so theuestion isis risk taking gooor bad is the wrong question. thquestion is, is it above the water line o below the water line? and what we find is companies can ask themselveas people by king a risk where the upside is bound buthe down side is gigantic. whether it be massive leverage ratios, whether it be launching a huge uncalibrated satelli system. whether be in case of climates, put a little story in the book about climbers that were goingp to do a climb and there were storm clouds in the difference.
11:49 pm
famous climb called the nad edge. and they didn'tsk the queion "what's the up side if w go up? what's the down side if the storm turns ally bad?" well, the up se is we ge to do our planned climb.epide. what's the dn side? >> rose: we die. >>e could die. they went ahead anyway,the storm turned againsthem, they were hit by ligning and ey died. and so what w find is there's is notion of not just risk by asymmetric risk. rose: oh, iee. in other words the down side is worse than the upse. >> much worse than the upside. and that leads into things going againsyou whether itbe the gradua erosion or whetheit be the risk turd bad a you start heading downwards and that when you entertage ur. the essence stage four is not that y're falling, it's grasping for salvaon in responseo falling. >> rose: give methe story. >> well,irst of all, those are great positive sties because ib i don mean, xerox, new corps, these are all cpanies
11:50 pm
that weren decline that came back. in the case of i.b., what's verynteresting is that you have... there was a y your brought in, by the way, ry rarely do outsidesaviors, certaiy outside charismatic saviors produce gre result the weightf evidence is very much against that. it can happen. he was t exceion of a successful outsider. now, gersh her came in and the first thing erybody wanted to do with the "what'your plan? wh's your direction." remember that famous moment where he saidthe last thing i.b.m. need is a digital." what hmeant is i need make sure i havemy team inplace, ne to make suri have the right people in my sea. >> rose:ake sure we can execute. >>ake sure we can execute and i've got to confront all the diffict facts we have to nfront and it's not going to happen in five days or ten days orven a hundred days. when a newspaper ask "can we track your pgress over 100 days" he sa "no, we're going dark, we have work to do."
11:51 pm
and it washisery almost pedestrian quantitative diiplined process of figuring out where i.b.m. cou still be the best in the world. and then making a series of very discipned decisions that were t sexy,o n tracti and rebuild the culture and rebuild the confidce of relts that then led to the transition. that's a completely different approach than "we need to do a big miracle acquisition." never did one of those. "we need to do a complete ltural transformati and toss out erything from the p.a. " as he said "i fell in love with i.b.m. and wha it sto for." sot was building on strength in a very almost peterrucker way,tep by step, turn by tur of course he stopped the lead bleeding b that's not w you build grtness. itas a ve pedtrian process. anne mulhey of xerox came into anher company th was in late stage four decline an insir, almost no o knew who she was. sheid all the same types of activities of right people, it's
11:52 pm
not about he disciplined steps proding great results. the antithesis of silver bullets. >>ose: let me come to general conclusions. here is the problem that i o others have. it's not about this book, it is a larger issue. you look after... u look at these companies andyou want to ow how would we know? so y go look at case studies, what happened an figurout at are the lessons from those se studies after the ft. what is always... is a bit like y need to haveood jument. well, tt's... i know tt. what is good judgment an how would good judgmt apply in circumance a, circutance b, circumstance c? you early have to have principles and y have to have createive renel and you have to have a capacity in aense to the absencef hubs. you haveo have a certain humility and at theame time you have to ha a certain boldness and confidence. all ose things speakto you. those are rds that speak to
11:53 pm
you. on the one hand humility, onthe other hand boldness. the one hand risk taker, on the other hand prudence. on thene hand this on the other ha that. it is all there and you undetand that those are the. you're still left th the hard tough decision making responsibility of saying "within those chces, how do i make the righchoice?" and i'm not sur this book or any other bk has the capacity to tell youhat. >> no. >> rose: becau in the end, you've learn from history or you will repeat histy. on the other hand new waters are consttly flowing into every river a so it's constant changing. >> i'll offer twohoughts about that. the first is that i.. the more i look at things, the more i come to the conusion that at
11:54 pm
the root ofuch of it is wha is the truth of the aition of those inower and if your ambition as a leader iseally about you, it's about the success you have, it's about the attentionyou get during your time, it's about the weal you accumulate, that leads to... is moreikely to lea to the absence of the disciplined desions that would produce great resus. ift stas with ose people like anne ml kay hi wh are deeply passionate abo the cause, about the company, about the work, it reay isn't abou them. and it really is about something bigg that they're goin to create that is going to go long beyo them, whether it be musi or a building or a s of ids
11:55 pm
a company, tt that leads to a different set of decisions that flow from that root question when you have,ts it ull about? what you're cating that is bigger than you or is it about you? and if take all of our work and i just sort of come back to... when i lookt those who make one set of decisio versus the otrs and i say whe's the root? that is, i believe, one of the roots. >>ose: "how the migh fall and why some companies never give in." m collins. hiprobably most famous book is called "goodo great." ck in a moment. st with us. >> rose: robert wrht is here. s books include "the moral
11:56 pm
animal" "n-zero" and "three ientists and their gods." his nebook is calle "the evolution of god." it offers a new perspective on religion and the scripture i'mleased to have robert wright bk at this table. welcome. >> thank for having me. >> re: tell me what yousee as..and we could just... i could ask this question and then 0 minutes later you could say "that's thenswer. this pattern pattn. which inhe eence of this book, this patrn in the olution of judaism and christianity. >> so in the siptures of all the abrahic religions, the bible and e koran, sometimes god is saying,you know, be nice to the unlievers in the koran, you know? he aises muslims to say "you've got your religion, we've got rs." other tis he says "kill the infidels." on the one hand he'ssaying "wipe out a ci because they don't belve in me" and at
11:57 pm
other times "the israel lits not only sugge peaceful co-ist nse of w the neighboring people who have another god but actually invoke thatod to validate the relationship." they say you've got your god; we've got our god,? so i wanted to see what the pattern isin termsof explaininghose mood fluctuatio with an eye to seeing what brings out theest and worst eligion. e basic idea is pretty simpl when people ok at anoer group of people anthink that they c benefit from peaceful co-existen, from collaboraon cooperation,r just co-exience, they will ually find a basis for tolerance their religion. and i think day that's true. people will find the tolert scriptures in thr scriptures when it's i their interest to do so. >> re: let me underand that. if you are loong for tolerance you can find hiin the scptures? >> well, certainly allhe scriptures are now sufficient ambiguous. >> rose: that's my pnt, yeah. you can find anythinyou
11:58 pm
want in theoran or inhe ble. >> rose: tt, in fac.. you go to isl, is there any place in the koran thateople are... the radil fundamentaldge such as al qaeda that osama n lad can find things that he ca say "ah, the ble speaks to me"? >> on e one handhe can find a vee that lerally ss... well, it says "killhe polytheists whever you find them." but on the other hand if you look clely at the context at verse, then what it says is basically unless they're on your side in this particular war. and thatllustrates. what i'm saying is that when he saw it bei in his interest to ally with people. they are alliesand thinkould on his side. if you look at the koran closely
11:59 pm
that's wt's going on. he was a warrior for much ofñi e vers. there are a lot of belligerent verses in the. but it's clearn context that i would argue it's actually not fuamentally abouteligion. i argue the religious conflicts are not fundamentally about religionthe so-call religion nflicts. people wl always manage to invo their religion justify the killg they do just as ey'll manage to invoke patriotism tjustify killing if it's a nationalist war. the argument i makein the book is tha in ancient times as now, what brought out the qstion of whether a religion woulde belligerenor tolerant was n so intrinsic inherent fture of the religion, some interl character, iwas much more cts on the ground, what's in your interest do now. there's ch more pragmatis to relion than i think is
12:00 am
appreciated. >> rose: suggesting religion was created in order to... >> itart the book... the term "the evolution of god" inhe title refers tthe evolutionf ideas about god. what antipgss call cultural revolution. i start back in hunter gatherer days when so far as we can tell every societon the planet believ in mini gods. and at that point religio is not what we think of aseligion today as n tha itidn't have a moral coonent. it wasn't about doing gd or don't chea don't steel. >> rose: no cod there. >> because hter gatherer societs, you've got 30, 40 people, it's not tha much of a prlem keeping people inine really. religion was about more what science is about today, whi is figuring out how the world works in particular why catastrophes stke and trying to figure out how to increase the numberf success and decrease the mber of catastrophes and the theories they came up with were
12:01 am
okay, out there there are these beings we can't se and they' li humans. if they do something bad to you, they're maat you. you must he done something offend them. that lodge sick the main thing early religio is about. and as te goes onnd society getue cities and states, religion changes inhe character of god changes. it becomes more aut morality and good. >> rose: when did that happen? before the god o israel israel. one the is that there' more continuity between pris israel looits religion and israelite religion. everyone wants to say their region is special. we have this revution and then everything changed.
12:02 am
try to show it' an evolutionary path. there are gods that are much about goodness. >> ro: does this book have some place between pro-faith and atheist literure. believers oron-believers? >> ion't subscribe to any claims ofpecial relation so i'm not a christian, musm or w. bui wouldn't cl myself an athet. i tell my story from the pnt of someone outside of the faith, t but i argue in e book and i believe th there i evidence that there is a larger purpose workinthrough nature. so tt doesn't necessarily
12:03 am
imply an interventionist god o thkind of god these peopl believ in. i don't know i i'm right i this kind of dirtionalty in, for exame, human history, a moral direction that i demonstrate in human history or try toemonstrate. if thatr&, can't team you anything witgreat confidence out what's behind it. >> re: but there is a... nature has purpose? >> ihink so. and i think more than scientists realize, saying that is not incompatible with science. and it doesn't mean there's spooky forces out there. >> rose:xactly. >> it can be a strictly materialist physical stem abiding by the lsf nature was set in motio for some purpose. we think of a car as having a puose, it was design to do something but don' think there's ything special about it. it's just machine. >> ros but o set it motion? >> well, i don't know. and i wodn't sayt's
12:04 am
necessarila who. could ben intelligent being. bu you know, we have? science examples of thin that are purposeive but not set in motion by an intelligence, and that's like you and me. animals have goals and purpose, right? i mean, th pursue goals, but theye designed by a process, natul selection, not by an inteigent being. coulbe there's a g behind it but i just don know. >> rose: and if you don't know, that means what? >> well, even thoug.. i mean, in my case... people are different in terms of what giv em spiritual sustenance. what would be grea is if i cod believe there's a god and i'm good i'll go to heaven althgh there's a down side thinki you have to be good to goo heaven. that would be my favorit but in the absence of that ople are different in terms of what does give them spiritual stenance. people like to say "well, we're made of the same stuff astars
12:05 am
and that makes me feel good." that doe't do much forme but it does help me to think that there is a purpose unfoldi whoseirection you can discern and it has a moral dimension. i'll tell you where think we are in history. i think-- an this gets ba to... we'veen the history of rigion, as i trd to show in the book. e social system is now a global one, okay? d social systems are fragile. they can collapse or cohere. i would say the coherence of the social system dependsn moral progress. that is to say, depends on people getting better in putting emselves in the shoes o people halfway aroundif world, appreciati that and so on. so the kind of salvation in society in the kinof hebrew bible sense of the word, just meaning holdg the society
12:06 am
together dends on moral progress. that's been the case again and again and religionas played a role. >> rose: exactly whatole has religion played? they have given e framework to find the moral purpose? if religion of the iselites succeeded inuniting 12 tribes that he not been united. so christianithelped the roman empire coher islam founded a multinatiol empire. time and time again religi has played a role in expandg the social stem, in bringing people who are priously not in e same tribe into the same tribe. mean the story of historyt one level is the story of expanding social oanizations. i'm argug that that expansion entail it kind of moral progresss people have to expand that recall moral circle and say yeah, ay, those pele are... there one of us,too. different nation, but we'n the same empire,hey're one of us, o. i'm saying t world is at
12:07 am
int where we'rell going to have t get better abou saying that to everyone ithe world and ju thatraditionally religions have played a le in expanding th kind of moral imagination ani try to show that ristianity, islam and judaism are all capable of playing that. they've done it before. they've adapted eir dorines. rose: do theylay it the same way? >> there are difrences.t that te same thing but their impact is the same. the consequenc of them being there, whether it's islamic or christian or jew dayic. >> what th have in common is th pragmatism th when they.. >> rose: you c find what you wfind at's necessary inour doctrine to hold the social system togethe that's what they he in common. now, in individual salvation, the idea that, you know, you rsonally can go to aven and that's lge play t religion is about is very bign christiaty and islamnd much less so in judaism.
12:08 am
in judaism, the termalvation the hebrew bible issually talking about the socl system. >> rose: do you tnk people would be different ifhey did not think ther was for lac of a better word-- merit i doing good? >> i mean itsed to be thoht in t 19th century therewere ople who were like, you know, i don't believe in god t if we tell everybody there's no god, soety will fall art. it's interting thatow amon those so-called newitiests, chris fi hitens, is almost the oppositeclaim. which ishat religions the sour of all evil which i think a false and dangeroly false to think that all of our proble, all the prlems in the middle east derive from jus relious fervor as opposed to actual problems on the ground that we can work out. >> rose:ight. >> but it' interesting it just flipped. i think it's largely a post-9/ think. i think between radical islam and kind of christian fundamentalism in amera, certain pele who just like... dislike both of thos things a
12:09 am
there arethings i dislike in both of themi have to say, have kind of generalized and saidwell, religion in general is the source of the problem." and one point my book that no, rigion has ve often played a very constructive le and it still can. the queson you're asng is will society fall apart without it is a queion we don know the answer to yet. >>ose: take a look christianity andislaktohammed au ok at jesus, what do they share d how are the diffent? >> i think more tha people reize because i argue in the ok that jesus... the jesus of the gosps is misadingnd that real jesus was ss about universal love. i think th doctri comes much mo from the apose paul and i ink jesus was more an old-fashioned fire and brimstone.... >> rose: social activt? no, the opposite. this is one common interetation of him mow isthe nd of lefting visionism th the sufficient that's true all the stuff abt feeding
12:10 am
the poor. and he may haveeen big on feedg the poor,hat's poible. >> rose: b he was in essence... you were going to say. >> i think he was a fire and brimstone apocalypti preacher if y want... judgmt day is coming. that pt is clear in e gospels. but i think that was much more the co of his message and think they was jewish apocalyptic preacr. he w talking to fellow israelitis. he wasn'.. i don't think he was intereed in spreading the spel to the nations. i think he was a local apocalyptic preacher with fiery etoric and that's wh mohammed was ithe days when he was a street preach in mecca. now, unlike jesus, mohammed actually acquires power before he gets killed. his moveme, unlike jesus's, actually suceds in gettg power before anye kills him. so then yo see a sond mohammed medina w becomes a statesman and a warrio and all of tt part of the koran is...
12:11 am
stands in stk contrast with the jesus... evenhe jesus that i think really existed, just because he has remained a stree preacher >> rose: of all the fire and brimstone preachers a the time and to succeed... and to follow and all of the qualits that mohammed had, w did those two succees and mohammed? >> rose: yes. >> they succeeded in different ways. mean, jes himself, s follows, i'm sure, when he was crucified did not think they had sueeded. that was n their plan. i mean, messiahs were tught of as people who saved you in a convtional... the way a political leader would, the messiah was going save all of israel as a leader. so he didn't succee by the expeations he had during h life. now, the mory of h became a religion that succeeded i think
12:12 am
by changing a lot after his death. but i think that's moref a tribute tohe apostle paul and how fertile the roman empire was. w ready it was for a multational religious movement. i think christianity was designed to be a successful multinational movent designed large baby paul. think that's wherehe doctrine of a love that crosses ethnic and national bounds comes in. >> rose: so wiout paul. >> i thi it would all be.... >> rose: no wait, finish. wiout paul... >> well, it mig be ver different. there were differentorms of christianitynd some were more like paul's than others. i think an ristianity that succeeded would havead toe prty much like paus in the sense of emphasize ago brotherhood that crses national boupd >> rose: so jesus woul not have succeeded withoutpaul? >> he would havead to adapt his mesge but people are adaptable. mohamm changed a lot in his career. >> ros why didohammed succeed? why it today the two huge faiths... stand wherthey are? >> i think because both of them
12:13 am
fell on fertile gund. >> rose: there was a ne for them whe they existd? >> mohammed was on the peripry ofwo empires, both of which were kind novembe a state cay. and themovement... which actually spread rgely after his death. he did acquire power and did startexpanding but i only became an empire afteris deat rgely kind of took or the instruments empire fm thosee. but i think mohammedhimself got to where heot before he die by being a very craftynd pragmatic leader much more pragmatic than peoe realize. they tnk of mepl med the stereotypes, you know, fervent religious guy, the stereotype o e right wing of ameca would be, u know, religious whack, probably. but if you actually read the koran, i think h he's a very pragmatiperson who's willing to ame doctres as necessary toxpandis coation, to keep it going together, keep it gog. so when he thinks he ca bring
12:14 am
ristians and jews on ard you see the koran saying things like "jesus is e spirit of god jesus is the rd of god rit out of the the bible." the hebrews are the chosen peop by god." all this is thekoran. and that comest a time when mohamm still thinks he can bring christians and jewson bod in a common fah or common political movement depending on how you wan to look at it. and then there's much less flatteri stuff after the missn seems to have failed. so.... >> rose: but mohmed was more of a political leader than jesus was. >> yes. he cceeded as a political leaderin a way that jesus didn't. >> rose: but he was more of politicshan jesus. >> and very adaptable. ani think in his religious ctrine in order to be a successful political leader. >> are we at a ment in relious evolution? >> i think so. >> rose: and that moment is? >> the moment is either religions ta what they've always been good at, which is lding the social system
12:15 am
together and adapto a time when the social system is t wholworld, whichill mean probly changing some of their dorines and certainly moderating som of t more radical elements inhem. or the who system may fail. i mean, actual cha. i think that's the ment that we're at and there's simuaneously this challenge from science the problem. and is reducing the number of kind of well educated peoe who are professoring religions. they hav these two challenges happeninat the same time. >> rose: the boois called "the evolution of g." robert wright autho of "the mora animal" and "non-ze." thank you. >> thankou. >> rose: pleasure to have you. >> rose:on hewitt, th famous creator of60 minutes," ed today at age 86.
12:16 am
he was a legendary producert cbs. he was the for the first kennedy/nixon dete. >> the first qution now to senator kennedy. >> rose: he went on to he an illustrious career a the "cbs evening news". >> this is the "cbevening news" wi walter cronkite. >> rose:nd then the foundin of " minutes." it is perhaps america's greatt broadct in the history of new broadcasts. it is a show that hastood the test of time, the principle therein whe created by don hewitt. once said ""60 minutes" is about ur words: go tell a story." he chose correspondents w could tell a story and the stors they told. rememb this. every pieceou saw on "60 minutes" wle don hewitt was executive producer bore some imprint from himefore they went on e air ty had to pass his musr. here is some of the appearances he made this program over our
12:17 am
19-year history. you are there almt at the creaon of television. 1948 was your first job. >> yea yeah. i came to television... i didn't even knowhat it was. i was working at united press as a picture etor and aguy callede with a friend ofine who worked at sebts and he said "they're looking for a g with cture experience." i sa "wait a minute,hat the hell does a radio network want withicture" and heaid "no, televion." and i said "what vision? you mean you sit homend look at picturesn a box? so that's i i went over there and my d i felt like dorothy in the emerald city. couldn't believe it. cameras an lights and booms. i s mesmerized. >> rose: what was the first show. >> douglas edwards with t ne. precededronkite. i did that and i used to do the brooklyn dodger baseball gam. >> rose: directing them? >> no, no, i wa the
12:18 am
assoate... i came ins an associat dector and six months later theyade me a director and i took over the evening newsand it just... it's onef these careers that i can'treally believe it all happened tme. i'm constantly pinching myself. >> ros take me bk t.. fit of all, doug edwards. i an, it was stor true that you on wanted dg edwards because the was no teleprompter, yo wanted him to use braille? >> but, charl! think about that. suppose we didn't have teleprompters and you were dng a storyevery night. you sat ere and they flamit hashot and you ran your hands over a braille scrt and you could. (laughs) to this d everybody laughs about it. i thought it was a grt idea. >> rose: what did doug edwards say? >> he tught i was ns. >>ose: (laughs) >> i don't thi any of us could ever sit down and tellyou what it is that "60 minutes" does at's different. >> re: you staed "60 minutes" and at the very ginning i remember
12:19 am
specifically youaid "tell me a story. tell ma story." and that really is the formula for most o it. tell me story. that story tha slie stahl did last night w... >> tell me a story. >> it was a drama. >> ros it was ready for broadcast. >> it was. "chorus line." >> "chos line. extly." >> i think we know something that nobody else in this business has figured it o. mort.is you'r more than your eye that keeps you at the television set. what y hear is what keeps you there. see, i believe verystrongly, charlie, that it is you're more than your eythat keeps you at a television set. >> rose: people hear... you're saying people hear. expla it toe. i believe it, too, bu explain what you mn. >> i can live with aicture at's a lite bit grainy and outf focus. i can't li with grainy sound or out-of-cus sound. the minute the sound or the
12:20 am
words don't mes or the inflections aren't right, i don't re what's on there. see, before "60 minutes,"the accepted wisdoin telision was that what we did was we put words to picture well, no, we're going to put pictures to words. we're going to start with storand dece how ilstrate. i believe that what you hear i more important than wha you se i have bn inelevision 44 years and never saw pictu at excited me as much as a well-tned phrase. i may have lrned that from murrow. >> rose: murrow didn't write at atypewriter, h stood up. he would talkt through and mebody would write it dn. >> ros sgr he wro it. >> rose: but he would talk it. >> i d that. i talk.. listen, as far as
12:21 am
sound d what i saidn "60 minutes," mike wlace and i have had the same conversation for 4ears. for 4 years mike has de a narratn at the end of which he invary i can bebly saysto me "okay, kid, how s it?" for years i said "i ge you an a. you wa to do it again and see if you getan a-plus?" >> re: (laughs) and you lien to... >>hen i get in t control room, i don't even look. i kn what ed bradley lks li. i know what lesli looks like.tor the track. >> sometimes i put head on the desk and listen and i whip may head upand i saywait a minute, wait! at inflection is wng." "that's wordy." or "there's a better worde can use there." d i edit with my ears. >> rose:hen he comes into the room and you he toiled and your producer has toiled and ur associate producer has toiled and you've said it together, you know t story, he comes in and said "i think what you need to do is you needto
12:22 am
puthe beginning in the middle, put the middle in the benning." >> he does a l ofhat. >> ros he does new >> he es a lot of that. >> rose: and your sweat and your bld reason ron the table >> wl, you know, it's a collaborativprocess in distance. there's a great thing to be said for distance. proders will work on thiswith associate producers for six or eight wes. certainer or ler you reach blk. i can look at it with aet of fresh eyes and then don ces in at the end whene've actually done a cut of and he looks at it and immediately see two or three things we can do toake the piece better. and some of it is... he's e be at it. >>. rose: that, in my timation, is t single mt important reason that "60minutes" works the way it has over the years is... and he knows i fl this way >> son of a gun has fings or gut or whaver it is and you come in with a prty good piece and 'll find out how to make
12:23 am
it bter. >> i think the success of "6 minutes" is that i hav never in my le hired anyon smart th i am. because if they're smarter tha am, why do i need them >>ose: you know what the say? >> it's not true. honest tood. i look at a lot of guys, i look at gs like you and moyers, wallace, every one of my coemporaries is better educatedhan i am, they're tter read than i am, ey're more learnedim, and why all this gd luck rainedon me i cat figure o. i ink the most important person on "60 minutes" barone forg, mik, morally, steve, leslie, do hewitt. >> re: what is it that's brought you the most... what do you wa to tell your grandchildren abouton hewitt's
12:24 am
tenu at c? >> you know it's like one of those thin what would you le on the epitaph and the answer is i don't want one wh would i tell them? i don'know. i would te them thathat i was very lucky. that i was there the ght ti. that i sor of had an affinity for television that i may not ha had for anying else in life. that it all seemed to work for me. that ias this guy who never graduad from college who got all this and i wldn't remmend that to anybody else. i knew when i was four years old th i wanted to be in the news business. rose: don hewitt dead at age 86. he was a markable producer and a remaable man. i have had great and good lk in televisn t createthis
12:25 am
program perhaps most o all, but secondly being part the "60 minutes" family which i still am today. it is something that wherever i go makes m feel veryroud and whoever i e around the world it is sethinghategisters with people because it stands for quality, it stan for finding out the ory. don hewitt created tt standard and we will miss him. captioning sponsoredy roseommunications captioned by media access groupt wgbh access.wgborg
12:26 am
12:27 am
12:28 am
12:29 am
left
right

140 Views

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on